Saying goodbye is always hard. But when you turn a sad moment into a culinary celebration it’s easier to digest. With my colleagues in tow we headed to El Gaucho, a steak house in the Stilwerk/Sofitel tower. The restaurant is smack-dab in the middle of the tower which gives it a bit of a mall feeling, a sophisticated mall though. Still it has good atmosphere but it’s definitely not a place where you want to bring your date.
Andrea and I shared everything as usual to sample as many dishes as possible. Before ordering we got an introduction to the different cuts and varieties of the available beef. Except for the filet “Lady cut” (150g) all cuts were at least 300g. This is not a restaurant for the faint-hearted.
We started with the caramelized goat cheese on sweet and sour pumpkin and with black nuts, as well as smoked octopus salad with crispy blood sausage on cream of pepper. Both dishes were well presented and had a lovely taste. The goat cheese though was not enough caramelized since I could taste the granular sugar and overall the cheese was too hard. I had expected something softer and creamier. The octopus tasted great to me (too fishy for my friend) but the crispy blood sausage was a fried potato burger with only a bit of sausage. The composition with the cream was lovely though.
As a main dish we had two rump steaks, one Austrian and one Spanish with an “autumn salad” and french fries as side dishes and chimichurri salsa. Interestingly the Spanish beef was way tastier but the Austrian was a lot more tender. Both steaks were grilled right to the point and exactly as ordered. The side dishes fell flat though, the fries were okay, the salsa was a great disappointment on the other hand. Whatever it was, this was no chimichurri. And the salad was drenched in vinegar and overall for the price too small and not spectacular enough.
The guys seemed mostly happy with their starters and choice of cuts, except for the Austrian rib eye which was completely tasteless. The desserts fared not much better, the iced coconut with pineapple and rum was tasty but on the strong side (maybe not all the rum got burned off) and the “chocolate nemesis” was boring and when I say that you can trust me on it. Surprisingly I liked the crema catalana (or Crème Brulée) with guava and passion fruit best. The sweetness of the pudding paired with the tartness of the passion fruit was excellent while the guava ice cream was the favorite of Andrea.
Service overall was efficient if not really quick while the wine recommendation worked perfectly. When we ordered drinks later on we had to wait so long though that one colleague had to take off after his first sip.
Overall it was an interesting dining experience, I am just not sure if it is worth repeating. Yours, Pollybert